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Weekends With Alex Witt

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Us 14, Boehner 13, Washington 12, Citi 11, America 10, T.j. 8, Harry Reid 8, Alex Witt 7, Kelly O'donnell 7, Mcconnell 6, T.j. Holmes 4, England 4, Washington Post 4, Michael 4, David Gregory 3, Usaa 3, Mitch Mcconnell 3, Reid 3, New York 3, U.s. 3,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business. New.  

    December 30, 2012
    9:00 - 11:00am PST  

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[ female announcer ] almost nothing can dampen a baby's mood, when he wakes up dry in pampers. unlike other diapers, pampers has 3 absorbent layers, for up to 12 hours of protection overnight, and more beautiful mornings. ♪ pampers. peaceful nights. playful days. developing right now, race against time. this is happening on capitol
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hill as the senate tries to strike a deal to overt the so-called fiscal cliff. it's come down to a matter of hours. midnight tomorrow, everybody's taxes going up unless something happens in washington, d.c. hello to you all and welcome to weekends with alex witt. i'm t.j. holmes filling in for alex. a consequence of history in the nation's capital if congress cannot reach a compromise deal on tax and spending cuts. a short time ago, we were hearing from the president talking about the fiscal cliff negotiations. he spoke exclusively on "meet the press" and he had a message for congress. >> at minimum, make sure people's taxes don't go up and 2 million people don't lose their unemployment. i was modestly hopeful yesterday. now, the pressure is on congress to produce. >> the president responded to
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what would happen if no agreement is reached and the nation does fall over that cliff. >> if you look at projections of 2013, people generally felt that the economy would continue to grow, unemployment would tick down, housing would continue to improve, but what's been holding us back is the dysfunction here in washington. if people start seeing that on january 1st, this problem still hasn't been solved, that we haven't seen the deficit reduction that we could have had, the republicans willing to take a deal that i give them. if they say that people's taxes have gone up, which means consumer spending is depressed, then it's going to have an adverse reaction in the markets. >> there was much more to what the president had to say. listen to what he had to say on deficits and spending. >> you are not only going to cut your way to prosperity. one of the fallacies, i think, that has been promoted is this
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notion that deficit reduction is only a matter of cutting programs that are really important to seniors, students and so forth. that has to be part of the mix. but, what i ran on and what the american people elected me to do is put forward a balances approached. >> i want you to listen to something else. the president spoke about the tragedy in newtown, connecticut. he described it in a way he's not quite done so publicly before. listen to this. >> this is something that, you know, that was the worst day of my presidency. it's not something that i want to see repeated. >> it hit close to home? >> absolutely. >> the president describing it as the worst day of his presidency. we'll have more on the response to newtown in a bit. now to capitol hill and the time line for the negotiations. they set a 3:00 p.m. deadline for a deal to come to an
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agreement. it's just under three hours from now, folks. they hope to roll out the deal and agree on it some time tonight. ideally, a senate vote by midday tomorrow, new year's eve. the rest of monday, new year's eve, the house would consider the deal and possibly vote on it as well. capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell joins us from capitol hill. good afternoon to you now. did i lay that out about right? is that the best case scenario for how things are supposed to play out? >> reporter: while we are waiting, like waiting for paint to dry or a jury to come back with a verdict, it's difficult to say how it will come out. they say 3:00 p.m. deadline that word might be strong but the intent there is that with members coming back both in the senate and the house, they don't want them to be here with nothing to do.
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sort of their own minideadline to get resolved the conversations going on through the weekend. senior republicans here were concerned about some of what the president said, that interview with david gregory was taped yesterday. they described it as discordant remarks based on the fact harry reid and mitch mcconnell were working at it and continue to do so with their top staff and the representatives as well. where are we? i have been told there's movement from both sides that is considered constructive. it's not something they are ready to bring forward. we won't get incredible details until members get briefed. when you look at what's happening inside the room things like what threshold should taxes become higher or unemployment benefits or other taxes, all the variables. they have to decide and gauge will their membership also agree. it's a really important two-step.
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to give you a sense of how members are preparing themselves for what may come, here is lindsey graham who was on television earlier this morning. >> exceedingly good. i think people don't want to go over the cliff. i think what have we accomplished, political victory to the president. hats off to him. he's going to get tax rate increases, maybe not at 250, but upper rate americans. we accomplished little in not become greece. this won't affect the debt situation. it will be a political victory for the president and i hope we have the courage of what we believe is republicans. hats off to the president, he won. >> reporter: democrats would acknowledge this deal, if there is a deal is smaller in scope and won't do as much for reducing the deficit long term as both sides hoped. the real focus is to focus the
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most harm on people. not having everyone's taxes going up. there's a lot more involved in it. we have been focused on taxes. we hope to have something that gives a sense of are they close? will they get there? within a couple hours. >> a couple hours. we'll check in with you again. thank you so much. i want to bring in a fiscal policy reporter, laura montgomery as well as political writer for "the new york times," john harwood. you heard kelly mention some republicans weren't feeling the president's interview on "meet the press" this morning. they took issue with it. from that interview and what you saw this morning, what did you take from the president's appearance? >> i think the president understands he's got the high ground in the negotiations having won re-election and campaigning on higher taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year and knowing that as of january 1st, if nothing happens
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in congress, most taxes are going to go up across the board and propose a tax cut. he knows he has an advantage. it's a limited advantage. there's a downside to him, too. there's market reaction, loss of confidence in the united states. there's the mess of having to go back and deal with the sequester of those across the board cut that is nobody wants and dealing with taxes. the president, everybody is trying to avoid a headache. the question is, how does the cube get twisted around so everybody believes they have an outcome that is better than what happens after january 1. >> we heard kelly o'donnell speak, she said some movement, constructive, possibly. there's been so much talk going on so long. remind the viewers the major sticking point. at this hour -- she says there are more things in there, not just taxes, but this is what it's coming down to, isn't it?
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>> they are still hung up on the two sticking points which are how do we define the rich people we are about to tax, do we set it at $250,000 or do something higher, $400,000 or $500,000 is what the republicans would like to see. the other is the estate tax. it's crazy. it only affects 3500 people. the president wants it to affect 6800 people. those are the things they are hung up on. >> tell us about the rates here, john. get us back to this. what rates are we arguing over? we can put something on the screen her. $250,000 for households, $200,000 for individuals. what change in rates are we talking about for whoever they decide are the rich people? >> remember what the current rates are. since the george bush rates, the top tax rate is 35%. the bracket below that is 33%.
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what the president talked about is raising those top two brackets to the clinton era rates. the top rate under bill clinton was 39.6. the logic of limiting tax increases to people over $400,000 in income is that would affect one of the rates. the trading range is between 35 and 39.6 for the top rate. >> laurie, i want to put something up from your article in the washington post. one part got a lot of our attention. i'll read it. as night fall approached top democratic and republican aids shoved the latest proposals between the two leaders offices about 60 steps apart. now for folks who cover washington, they may understand this is how negotiations take place, this is how work gets done. it seemed asinine that these two offices are this close together,
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the two men are in washington and they are not sitting down in washington having a negotiation, talking face-to-face, you have paperwork going back and forth. is that just how things get done? is it process or a shame as well? >> it's a little -- they were working at yesterday, yeah, it's how things get done. harry reid wasn't at the capital yesterday. mitch mcconnell was there. the senior staff are trying to figure out what palsy is acceptable. they are trading very detailed information, they are getting scores from the joint committee on taxation to figure out how much money the various proposals raise. you have the white house team and democratic team in reid's office. the republican team in mcconnell's office. they are gaming out what they want and throw in offers across the table. the good news is they are trading those offers. >> t.j., can i say a word in
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defense of asinine politicians? the asinine politicians are reflecting real divisions in the country, divisions of self-interest, divisions of philosophy. it's more difficult to do because of the structure of our system, the way the two parties developed. ultimately, they are talking act thing that is cost people money and things that would benefit others financially. those are difficult issues to settle. you know, our system was designed to make them difficult to settle, not as difficult as they are in this circumstance. that's the nature of democracy. people said it's the worst form of government except for the other ones. >> you are right there. this is how it gets done. something seems wrong. it's accepting. i'm literally watching a clock here, tick, tick, tick as we get closer to the deadline. thank you both for being here. i know we will talk soon. thank you so much. >> thanks. it is 12 minutes past the
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hour. stay with us. there's a surprise for a driver just going past an airport. also, a dramatic increase in gun buying across the country. this happened immediately following the newtown, connecticut shooting. the fear that's actually fueling us. [ cellphon irping ] [ buzzing ] bye dad. drive safe. k. love you. [ chirping, buzzing continues ] [ horn honks ]
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♪ about 17 minutes past the hour now on this sunday afternoon here on the east coast. congress and the white house have 36 hours to reach an agreement before the u.s. hits that cliff, the fiscal cliff. negotiations are in the hands of leaders. if they do reach an agreement, it's expected to be announced to this afternoon. let's go to capitol hill. democratic congressman jayson altmire joins me now. how much activity is going on in the capital now? >> you don't see a lot of activity, but there are a lot of closed doors. what has to happen is 36 hours from now, we have to have a deal. that's the end result we all know must occur. it's going to be either from the
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senate side or allow the president's plan to come up for a vote in the house and senate. i think that would pass. there are ways to avoid the fiscal cliff in the next 36 hours. >> what is that mood like? i know you have been talking to them day in and day out. i was asking you on the commercial break what you are doing on capitol hill, what you are doing now. a lot of hurry up and wait. >> there's a lot of frustration. everybody understands this is a very serious issue. 36 hours from now, the fiscal cliff takes effect if there's inaction. there's some optimism. there's reason to be hopeful. i think the senate is going to come up with a plan we'll be able to vote on in the house. if not, the president put forward a plan that is ready to go now. there's no reason we can't get that done. >> the president has a back-up plan, he wants you to put something forward to make sure the tax cuts stay in place for
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the middle class. it's something you can support. what is your threshold? is it $400,000 or $500,000? if reid and mcconnell come up with a deal, what would you support? >> i would support $250,000. it's probably going to be higher than $250,000 somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000. if they brought the $250,000 with the extension of unemployment up for vote in the senate and the house, there's a good chance it would pass. >> you are comfortable. you would accept 400,000 and 500,000. it's acceptable. >> you have to strike a deal, negotiate and have compromise and give and take. within that context, yes, it's acceptable. >> i'm not sure if you caught the president on "meet the press." the president discussing
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negotiations. let's listen. >> you said that republicans have a hard time saying yes particularly to you. >> yeah. >> what is it about you, mr. president, that you think is hard to say yes to? >> it's something you are going to have to ask them because, you know, david, you follow this stuff carefully. the offers that i made to them have been so fair that a lot of democrats get bad at me. i offered to make some significant changes to our entitlement programs to reduce the deficit. >> do you agree with the president there? again, you are with the blue dog group. you are a fiscal conservative there. what has been the president's issue if he has been able to make the concessions. if he's gone more than half way, do you agree with that? what is it about the president? >> the president is doing what he needs to do. he's making arrangements for compromise. he's bringing leaders into the
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white house. i think there's been give and take and put a fair offer on the table. it's up to speaker boehner and senator mcconnell if they can accept it. if they don't, we are going off the fiscal cliff. it's where we stand now. >> you should vote your conscience, no matter what happens. you are an outgoing member of congress. you don't have to worry about re-electi re-election. many members of congress are doing what they believe their home districts want them to do. this is about self-preservation and getting reelected. are you in any different position? do you think they can look at this differently? >> i think you are in a lame duck session. it's a different dynamic. you have members that have lost and retired. yes, it's different in a lame duck than it would be before an election.
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this would be catastrophic for the country if we allowed it to happen. we have to have a deal in 36 hours. the people are committed regardless to doing the right thing for the country. it's what's most important. >> this is the way you wanted to go out with this mess? >> well, we could have handled it better. we are in this position because we mishandled it in the first place. we are where we are. i'm hopeful we will be able to do that in the next day and a half. >> good luck up there. we'll check in plenty throughout the day. good luck. >> happy new year. >> 20 minutes past the hour now. at 1:00, a look at what's going on behind the scenes in the senate. senator debby stabenow of michigan is on the finance committee. she's going to join us in the next hour. but, up here first, number three on the first five web stories.
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>> you see that? that was the moment of impact of a deadly plane crash in moscow. a plane veered off the run way and on to a highway, broke up into pieces, caught fire. investigators are examining the flight recorder to find out what caused the crash. five people on board that plane were killed. nah, i'm good. ♪ [ male announcer ] every time you say no to a cigarette, you celebrate a little win. nicoderm cq, the patch with time release smart control technology that acts fast and helps control cravings all day long. ♪ quit one day at a time with nicoderm cq.
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only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind. we are approaching the bottom of the hour here on this sunday. a dry, cold day in the east after a winter blast this weekend. the storm dumped up to a foot of snow in parts of southern new england. we bring in meteorologist dylan drier. everyone wonders what new year's eve is going to be like. >> it's going to be cold. as we start off 2013, it's only in the 30s in the northeast. the areas that will see snow in the middle of the country,
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doesn't look like much. the storm system is trying to get its act together as we go across texas. we start to see snow break out across kansas into missouri as well. it will linger through midnight as we go through tomorrow night and into tuesday morning as well. as far as snowfall is concerned, three to six inches in that area. enough to make a mess of the roadways. a lot of people enjoying the day. lake-effect snow. yesterday's storm system is pulling away. a couple lingering snow showers across northern new england. that's it. the sunshine is back. so, too, are the cold temperatures. 30s in the northeast. 20s in the northern tier of the country. for new year's eve, the snow showers fill in back through denver and kansas city as well. as we kick off 2013, it looks quiet and chilly. minneapolis starting off the new year at 10 degrees for a high temperature. chilly as we start off the new
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year. t.j.? >> thank you so much for that as we approach the bottom of the hour. a zip through the list of number one. let's start with lebron james. he's had arguably the year of his life. won his first nba title. he picked up big time sponsorship deals landing him on top of the year's top endorsement stars. also, the twitter verse will be a buzz with wishes for 2013. where will twitter be busiest? how about indonesia, jakarta followed by new york, tokyo, london and saopaulo brazil. >> three, two, one, happy new year. >> that's just a rehearsal for the confetti toss new year's eve. they came up short in the
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survey. which nationality would you most likely like to spend time with. brazilians came in first because of their bash in the summer drawing 2.5 million people. americans come in second because of times square. a spanish celebration in madrid comes in third. champaign, the staple in your celebration. the bubbly is rising in america. it's falling off in america and the u.k. great britain is the top importer of champaigns. those are your number ones on weekends with alex witt. [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day.
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back to the news.
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hour here. welcome back to weekends with alex witt. i'm t.j. holmes giving you headlines after the half. george h.w. bush is now out of intensive care. his improving condition allowed doctors to move him. the country band, the oak ridge boys sang "amazing grace" to him over the phone. he was hospitalized for treatment of a bronchitis related cough. he's now out of icu. president obama says the u.s. has quote, very good leads on who is responsible for the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. the fbi repeatedly sent investigators to the scene. he could not elaborate. he vowed to follow recommendations from a review of the attack that killed four americans. also in an interview, president obama discussed who he thinks is to blame for last minute negotiations ahead of the looming fiscal cliff. >> so far, at least, congress
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has not been able to get this stuff done. not because democrats in congress don't want to go ahead and cocooperate, i think it's bn hard for speaker boehner and leader mcconnell to accept the fact taxes on wealthiest americans should go up. we have put forward not only a sensible deal, but one that has the support of the majority of the american people, including close to half of republicans. >> let's get to the strategy talk. a pleasure to welcome these two gentlemen. joe sestak and former republican congressman and chairman tom davis, thank you both for being here. >> i was talking to you all during the commercial break. you said if it was up to you two, what would you do. what would your solution be right now? not the deal, the politics of a
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deal. >> we have to set politics aside. both parties need to look in the mirror and say what do we do for the good of america? set aside the money that is going to be taken out if we don't act. that means the gdp will grow 0% next year if we don't do anything. they have to cut it down to $200 or less billion then the gdp will grow close to 3%. it's relatively easy to do. somewhere between 400,000 and $500,000 will have to raise revenues. we know we have to have spending cuts. instead of $100 billion 50 in domestic, take half that amount. look at the payroll tax holiday. maybe you don't give the whole amount, just part of it. it adds up to $200 billion so
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the economy continues to grow. then the debt reduction is raised by february. >> mr. davis. he started his comment about solving this saying you have to take the politics out of it. it's not possible at this point. even though the deal, everything you heard from him, you may have agreed with and go along with it. how are you going to take the politics out of it with the clock ticking? >> if you don't get an agreement, it's going to hurt both parties. somebody may have the advantage today and tomorrow in the news headlines, if this doesn't happen, it hurts the president's legacy, it hardens the lines between them. this is not, as joe said, complicated to solve over the short term. long term, a little more complicated. if they can't get through this, it makes it much more difficult over the long term. >> to both of you here, you heard something the president said. david gregory pushed back on the president a bit.
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where is your responsibility, as well, mr. president. yes, we understand how some republicans made it difficult. a small number making it difficult and holding up a deal. where do you see the president's responsibility in this whole mess and does he bear any in your view? >> i just finished the fourth volume on lbj. if lbj were in the middle of this, he would say to boehner, what do you need to make it a win/win. this has been a win/lose. i won the election, we are forcing you in a corner. it's not the way to get agreements. they have to make it a win/win. the republicans offered a trillion dollars for tax increases. they are uncomfortable doing it by rates. businesses are paying higher tax rates than corporations. take the money and find the
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loopholes and deductions and take it out that way. the ideology doesn't allow them to do it that way. republicans have problems with tax pledges. you need more revenue as a part of it. there's slowly that realization that they have to come together. whether they can do it in a couple days is doubtful. >> you brought up lbj there. yes, there should be responsibility maybe on the president. the president talked about that a bit this morning when david gregory was questioning him. do you see it that way? in this late our, this 11th how, how much responsibility is it for the commander and chief to get something done? he's up against what he is at the house. >> at the end of the day, the president is the stewart of the overall economy. you learn that in the navy as the captain of a ship. at the same time, both parties need to look and see that both speaker boehner and president obama did come close to a principaled compromise.
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i think they both have good intentions for the future of america's economy at heart. they were $500 billion away from a $2.5 trillion agreement. if they can both come forward a little bit more, president obama more on spending reductions including entitlement reform, he did do some and mr. boehner, speaker boehner coming forward not just $1 million having a tax raise, those earning $400,000 to $500,000, you can get the grand bargain. it's not what we are talking today. get the fiscal cliff to where you change the scale to a bunny slope, where the skier can pick up speed, accelerate the economy up to 3%, only reducing the debt reduction down 200 billion. then with the surging economy, you get $3 trillion in february before the debt limit is broken, then the economy is so strong it
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can take the grand compromise and roar into the next nine years. that's the grand compromise. >> i heard you use that reference of the bunny slope. we are about to hit the bunny slope as opposed to the fiscal cliff. this is from an article in the washington post. if an agreement is reached, taxes would go up a bit for the wealthy. there would be no changes to entitlement programs, medicare, social security, no grand strategy to race cash through a tax code. a fresh start for a second term, washington is likely to be mired in the battle over the budget for months. the question is, how much is being sacrificed now for getting work done in january, february, march, early next year because we are stuck in this mess. we are not getting this fixed. we have to carry it over. how much trouble are we in for? >> the post is right. this is like keeping the lights
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on. the big issues are kicked down the road. we are not talking an ag bill. we are not talking the se que sequestrian. it's going to affect people in the middle incomes paying higher taxes. they all come together. they are talking about keeping the lights on. they are going to be mired in this. whatever happens today, you have another pressure point when you come up to the debt ceiling. it's dangerous to play with. again, it's another pressure point to get the parties together. it's the inability to work together for the common good. >> it sounds like things look different. we are starting to accept this is how business gets done, this is who we are. this is what we have in this country. one last thing to you mr. s.
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what's happening in washington, this whole debate and what is going to carry over into next year. when does it start to threaten the legacy of president obama? >> i think the only important legacy is for the american people, quite frankly. i really mean that. what i do believe is what's going on now is a kick in the pants to that legacy. it doesn't have to be a lethal kick. if we can come out, if it's not solved today, even early january, don't have to go over the fiscal cliff and cleleads uo a path in january. the agenda set out there in energy independence, education, what they want to do can still be well addressed. i believe it dmeepends on how t next few days work out. if they can't address the fiscal
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cliff, there's no way they can address the grand bargain or debt ceiling. i think they are going to do it, quite frankly. >> really, a pleasure talking to you both. enjoy the new year. you are enjoying family time and keeping your eyes on the redskins. i won't say which is which. happy new year. >> office politics the lester holt now. he tells us about two stories he will never forget. also, he will talk about his love of music. you know that little 50-pound thingy at the doctor's office when they weigh you, and they have to move it over? my doctor does not have to do that anymore. [ male announcer ] for every 2 pounds you lose through diet and exercise alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. feels great. simple. effective.
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[ buzzing ] bye dad. drive safe. k. love you. [ chirping, buzzing continues ] [ horn honks ] [ buzzing continues ] [ male announcer ] the sprint drive first app. blocks and replies to texts while you drive. we can live without the &. visit sprint.com/drive. about a quarter to the top of the hour and we are 2:15 away from a loose senate deadline for a fiscal cliff deal. we'll have a live report coming your way at the top of the hour.
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just a few minutes from now. first, in today's office politics, alex has a conversation with lester holt. she asks him how he became to be an aviation expert for the network and the huge role music plays in his life. we'll talk about two stories of haunting images he'll never forget. >> i traveled to somalia in the '90s. to be thrust in a situation where people are starving to death. you can't be more foreign to the world we know. it was extremely dangerous. it was then and still is a land of anarchy. it was a place that anything could happen and it did. but, you know, those are some of the images i saw. the other is the earthquake in haiti. i have never seen death on quite that scale before. i mean literally arms and limbs
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poking from rubble. the scene that will forever remain with me there was i can't even call it a mass grave. it was a dumping ground of bodies where they simply pushed bodies in a field. it was just, chilling. it was one of those scenes you look at and, you know, you are not sure what you are looking at. is that a pile of clothes? then you realize it's bodies. that was a kind of scale of devastation that they were dealing with there. you know, there were some organized mass graves, but others where they just put them in a field. it was, you know, that one required a little counseling on the backside of the mission. >> every time there is a plane disaster, you know, we all look to you because you have studied a lot about that. you know so much about the aviation. where did that come from?
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>> i grew up on an air force base. i loved the planes flying over. i thought about becoming a pilot. i took ground school. i have an aviation family. my brother is a pilot. my father-in-law worked for boeing. my wife was a flight attendant. i study it. i real a lot of journals. i have done a lot of stories where i have flown in military aircraft. >> you play the bass guitar. i see one here. where did that start? did you ever think of doing it professionally? >> in junior high school, i was in the jazz choir. they wanted a rhythm section. i thought i'll play the bass. i went to the pawnshop in sacramento. $60, i bought a bass and a couple books. how hard can it be? i bought bass method books. i figured it out.
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don't tell anybody but bass is easy. i started playing in the choir and the jazz band and got into it. i played a little in college in the jazz bands. as i kind of started my career, i laid it aside for awhile. when i moved back to new york in 2000, i took it up again. got the upright bass, which i always wanted. started playing with friends in clubs around town. i have done a few charity events, sitting in on sets. i love it. that bass sitting over there is the second one i bought in a pawnshop. i have had that bass since i have 17. that was my second bass. i have newer, nicer ones now, but that has a sentimental value. a lot of times, i shut the door and jam with myself. >> seriously? tell me about this. this is the coolest office. >> next weekend, to kick off the new year in office politics, alex has an interview with the
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"today" show's one and only al roker. now, number five on the top five trending stories. some washington, d.c. college students may be blushing in the classroom. next month, american universities will offer a course centered around the "fifty shades of grey" trilogy. if you are not familiar with the books, of course you are. they are known for their graphic, adult sexual content. the course is going to examine, quote, the interplay of sexuality, health, public relations and marketing. when you put it that way -- snif. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ breathes deeply ] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
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as we get close to the top of the hour, president obama is vowing to crack down on gun violence in america. on "meet the press," the president said he needs public support for gun legislation and revealed something personal we have not heard before. >> the question then becomes,
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whether we are actually shook up enough by what happened here that it does not just become another one of these routine episodes where it gets a lot of attention for a couple weeks and drifts away. it certainly won't feel like that to me. this is something that, you know, that was the worst day of my presidency. it's not something that i want to see repeated. >> it hit close to home? >> absolutely. >> meanwhile, sales of firearms are dramatically increasing across the country since the shooting. organizers of this gun show over the weekend in virginia expected to draw twice as many people as a similar event. some gun dealers at the show were doing more business than they had ever done before. joining me new is the writer of that report. thank you for being here. you went to the gun show. give the viewers an idea of how big the crowds were.
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>> the crowds were so big, the lines were out the door of the expo center where it was held, it went down the block and around the corner. organizers expected the crowd to be double of that last november. >> who were the people at the gun show? who are they? are they hunters? gun enthusiasts? first time buyers looking for protection? who are the folks? >> it's a diverse crowd of folks. hunters from rural virginia. couples from the suburbs of d.c., looking for handguns for self-defense, military veterans. one thing that struck me is the common sentiment that ran through the crowd. the latest push for gun control is misguided and some lawmakers in the media have unfairly scapegoated the problem. what lawmakers should be focused on are keeping the guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable. >> ha are the hot items?
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is semiautomatic, the ar-15, people are trying to get their hands on that. i haven't heard anybody in washington say they are going to take guns away. there are certain types of guns. are folks trying to get their hands on particular weapons or any weapon? >> there are particular weapons and firearms hot at the show. the ar-15 was probably the hottest item. some of the vendors were having trouble finding them. the prices for the ar-15s are running two and three times what they were a few months ago. >> i'm going to put up something from your article. you report gun dealers request 5 r 5,000 checks on gun permits.
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there are big numbers, a record being set for the background checks nationally. >> yeah. in colorado, for instance, the agent, the state agency that does criminal background checks for gun purchasers had to extend the hours they were open and handle more personnel to handle all the requests they were getting. one of the largest ammunition suppliers in the nation announced after the newtown shooting they had sold out of 3 1/2 years of magazine clips in 30 hours. >> say that again. that was the part that jumped out at me. >> sure, one of the largest ammunition suppliers said they sold out of 3 1/2 years worth of magazine clips for ammunition in 36 hours after the newtown shooting. >> incredible. the article is in the washington post. look it up. it's an interesting read to see what's happening in the country.
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thank you so much. happy new year to you. >> thank you. happy new year to you, too. we are getting close to the top of the hour. if you haven't heard the president's message to congress, stick around for the interview on "meet the press." we'll hear from senator debbie stabenow from michigan talking act the negotiations. stay with us. at pink castle thi. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind.
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like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. sxz if congress doesn't act, everybody's taxes go up. that could mean a loss of $2,000 income. >> that's the president in an exclusive interview on "meet the press." we are at the top of the hour on this sunday. the clock ticks closer to the fiscal cliff. hello to you all. i'm t.j. holmes in for alex witt. whether every you are, we are glad you are here. right now, negotiations are under way to avoid the fiscal cliff. leaders are scrambling for a
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last minute deal. we have 35 hours and counting. here is more of president obama talking about the overall situation. >> what congress needs to do is to prevent taxes from going up for the vast majority of americans. and this was a major topic of discussion throughout the campaign. what i said was that we should keep taxes where they were for 98% of americans, 97% of small businesses. but, if we are serious about deficit reduction, make sure the wealthy are paying more and combine it with spending cuts and put the economy on a long term trajectory of growth. over the next 48 hours, my hope is people recognize that regardless of partisan differences, our priority has to be to make sure taxes on middle class families do not go up. that would hurt our economy badly. at a certain point, it is very
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important for republicans in congress to say we understand we are not going to get 100%. we are willing to compromise in a serious way to solve problems. >> give you the live picture. you are seeing the majority leader, harry reid. >> they will begin at 3:00. announce the business of the day. >> under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. the senate will proceed the executive session to consider the following nominations which the clerk will report. >> we caught the back end of senator reid, majority leader reid giving an update of the schedule for today. they hope to take the deal to
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respective conferences, announce the deal and spread the word and hopefully the senate will vote on it tomorrow, new year's eve. the house could take up the same deal tomorrow afternoon, late afternoon, early evening or into the night, whatever need be and get it done so that all of our taxes do not go up on new year's day. we are still on that stand by. we are watching the clock tick. let's get to the white house. kristin is keeping an eye on things that morning. sounds like as we talked about yesterday, the president wants to keep a back-up plan in case they don't do what we are hoping they will do in the senate. >> reporter: yeah, that's absolutely right, t.j., president obama has been talking about this back-up plan. he's using the power of his bully pulpit to pressure congress to get something done. the basic message is, if they can't come up with a compromise, which is what leaders reid and
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mcconnell are working on now, they should at least put his proposal up for a vote. his proposal would include a number of things including extended the bush era tax cuts letting the tax cuts expire for the wealthiest americans. that is a big sticking point for americans. also extending on unemployment. here is what president obama had to say on that point on "meet the press." take a listen. >> i was modestly optimistic yesterday but we don't yet see an agreement. now the pressure is on congress to produce. if they don't, what i have said is that in the senate, we should go ahead and introduce legislation that would make sure middle class taxes stay where they are. there should be an up and down vote. everybody should have the right to vote on it. if republicans don't like it, vote no. i think there's a majority support to make sure they are
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held. >> two points. first, he is saying if it passes the senate, he's calling on house speaker boehner to put his back up proposal to a vote. there's a big question over weather speaker boehner will do that. also, embedded in the president's answer there is a window into the white house and democrat strategy, to leave republicans holding the ball at the end of the process if the legislation goes down for defeat, it will go down for defeat on their watch. in essence, adding to the pressure of them to get something done. i am told staffers here at the white house have been in constant contact with staffers on the hill, president obama, of course, in those conversations, paying close attention to what's happening. of course, there's a waiting game going on at the white house. all of the action right now is happening between leaders reid and mcconnell. t.j.? >> kristin, we will check if with you again.
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thank you so much. >> seven minutes past the hour. let me bring in economics correspondent nancy cook and reuters political reporter. thank you both for being here. we talk about what's going to get done, what we hope is going to get done. several things are not going to get done. tackle the debt ceiling, the sequester, payroll tax holiday and tax breaks for businesses. where does this leave us if they are not being discussed at this point? >> at this point, the best thing we could hope for is a small, bare bones deal that extends the middle class tax cuts, patches the amt. there are a bunch of things congress and the white house will have to deal with in the new year like the sequester. they are things that will get wrapped up in the other budget that we have coming up, particularly around raising the debt ceiling. >> we haven't talked about this enough. you hear it out there. the payroll tax holiday. we are talking about keeping tax
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rates, taxes going up for everybody, 98% of mile an hoame. your taxes are going to go up because the payroll tax holiday is not being dealt with. the payroll tax holiday is going to cost everybody what? $1,000 a year? >> that's a good point, t.j. there's not been much attention focused on this. this is far down on president obama's priority list. i guess you pick your battles. the practical effect is an average family is looking at a tax hike of $1,000. it's the same size of the tax increase you would see if the bush rates were let evaporate. that is a two-year temporary thing. you let it expire, it's good for the budget. more tax revenue coming in. it's bad for the economy. this will slow down growth and
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cause unemployment to rise. cbo says it could rise by seven or eighth tenths of a percentage point. >> if we go over the cliff, they will set in motion a series of fiscal battles for a few months. it's almost as if the deal gets done in the next 35 hours or so, we have no reason to go, ahh and a sigh of relief because it's setting us up for the next fight and the next fight. yes, it's great. the tax rates won't go up for 98% of americans. that's wonderful. we should be nervous about what happens after this. >> we should. there are a number of budget things coming up. the debt ceiling is a huge thing that is going to come up. treasury secretary timothy geithner said we hit the debt ceiling december 31st. they can continue to pay their bills for two months. congress and the white house is
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going to have to come back to the negotiating table again. we are going to have the typical budget rules. the house republicans are going to put out their budget. it will continue through the spring. >> andy, what are you hearing is happening in d.c. at the capital and how possible it is we are going to follow this time line put in place of maybe having the deal agreed to in two hours presented to senators and maybe they vote by midday and they send it to the house and the house is on the floor on new year's eve. what are you hearing? is the time line the one we are trying to go with? >> we are not hearing much of anything. it's probably a good sign. if there's radio silence, the two sides are talking to each other. they have something to talk ability. conceivably they could have an agreement they could show to the caucus caucuses. if they get a deal, a lot has to go right for this thing to get
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passed by january 1st. you have to have every single member of the senate agree to bring it up for a vote tonight or tomorrow morning. the way the senate works, there's 100 senators. if one objects, they can filibuster and it slows things down for a week. you have to have procedural hurdles. if they all agree to pass it, they meet with the house. speaker boehner meets at 9:00 tomorrow morning. he has to take their temperature. even if the democrats pass it, he doesn't want to pass something most republicans don't agree to. if the republicans go for it, they schedule a vote, have a debate and wave their own rule that says you can't have a vote for 72 hours, for three days. it could happen, but a lot has to go right. >> a lot of ifs, ands and buts. you don't like to see the sausage get made. a deal has been struck.
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the tax rates are going to stay in place. hopefully we'll get it by january 31. thank you for being here, if i don't talk to you again, happy new year. >> thanks. in a moment, the latest word from the hill on the last ditch fiscal cliff negotiations. a negotiator will join us on why it has come down to this. you are watching weekends with alex witt. the capital one cash rewards card gives you 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more... [ midwestern/chicago accent ] cheddar! yeah! 50 percent more [yodeling] yodel-ay-ee-oo. 50% more flash. [ southern accent ] 50 percent more taters. that's where tots come from. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card gives you 1% cash back on every purchase plus a 50% annual bonus on the cash you earn. it's the card for people who like more cash. 50% more spy stuff. what's in your wallet?
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we are a quarter past the hour. we are running out of time, folks. a lot of people are running out of patience. we are getting closer and closer to the fiscal cliff deadline.
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still no deal on the table that we know of. negotiations are going on. we haven't heard a lot out of them. that's a good thing. that means they are still talking. that's good. joining me now, debbie stabenow. ma'am, thank you for being here. but, you are frustrated, are you not? >> t.j., i am frustrated. we should have never, never gotten to this point. last summer, the senate passed a bill so middle class families are not held in hostage to the end whether or not the wealthier americans get a tax cut. we passed a bill to the house, it's never been taken up. here we are doing what i was afraid was going to happen, holding 98% of the american public hostage to debate whether the millionaires can afford another tax cut. >> you are there on the hill. we have a loose deadline of 3:00 that reid and mcconnell had.
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what are you hearing as the clock ticks about where they are in negotiations? you said to me a moment ago, you are aware of a few sticking points. give us the latest. >> there are a few key sticking points. you know, it really does come down to the same thing. when you get done with the whole package, have we shifted taxes or are the wealthy getting their fair share? we get into estate tax where there's a debate about do the wealthy pay their fair share or shift it to the middle class. frankly, we have had two years of debating, running up to deadlines, putting faith and credit of the country on the line. each time, we agreed to spending cuts. now a total of $1.6 trillion in spending cuts that mainly hit the middle class, low income people, seniors and we still don't have any contribution from the wealthiest americans. that's the line in the sand for
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us. we know we need to go further on a lot of fronts. you have to start by everybody sacrificing and paying their fair share. >> you may be hopeful at this point. the clock is ticking. do you think maybe the best option now is the president's option, which is if they can't come up with a deal to get through the senate and the house, let the president send something over that addresses the deadline of january 1 to make sure the tax rates don't go up on 98% of americans. are you to the point you think it's the best option right now? >> i would love to see a broader agreement. if not, what the president proposed is right. 98% of americans will see their tax cuts continue, which is about average $2200 per family. 97% of small businesses would see their tax cuts continue and something not talked about a lot is we would extend unemployment insurance. right now, after january 1, 2
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million people immediately lose their unemployment insurance which means their total family economic security is at stake. so, i think what the president's talked about is the best position if we cannot get a broader agreement. >> when should i, senator, get nervous? when should we all get nervous. 3:00 comes, 4:00. at what point should we get nervous if we don't hear of a deal by 3:00 or 4:00. when would you get nervous? >> i think right now. i'm nervous now in the sense of trying to get an agreement. let's put it this way, t.j., if people of good will want to come together, we can do it. it's that simple. there are procedural things that can be waved by unanimous consent. if people want to work together. i know people in michigan are saying come on. come together. do the thing you can agree on.
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make sure middle class tax cuts continue and we can debate on the rest of it. >> i know you think it and a lot of people do, to hear you say to come together, a lot of people want to come together. why do we have to get a few steps from the cliff before we decide it's what we need to do? it really is. it's a shame. before i let you go, there's something else not being talked about as much. it's going to have or could have as big of an impact. the way to get people's attention is tell them they are paying $8 or $9 for a gallon of milk. we are talking the farm bill. where are we on the farm bill. i don't want to go into the technicalities and the law. essentially, if one is not approved by the january 1 deadline, prices for food and milk could shoot up. where are we on the farm bill? >> we passed a bill, a bipartisan bill back in june. $24 billion in savings.
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t.j., we did in agricultural committee what everyone wants. we cut government subsidies that shouldn't be given. we set priorities, organize billions of dollars, sent it to the house. the house committee acted. for the life of me, i cannot understand why the speaker of the house turned his back on rural america, on consumers. people get their jobs because of agricultu agriculture. here we are running up to this cliff. if something is not done, milk prices are going to double or triple. so, we have to at least pass what's called an extension of current law. the four agricultural leaders, republican, democrat, house, senate have come together. all four of us agreed on language to do that. now they need to get it passed. >> are they going to get it passed? >> they have to. i believe we will. >> the agriculture secretary called it historic to come up to
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this point of the farm bill. thank you so much for your time. >> my pleasure. >> hopefully everybody's blood pressure goes down. a lot of people are upset. we appreciate your time. talk to you soon. >> thank you. >> we are 22 minutes past the hour here on this sunday. we are going to head overseas. brand-new dashcam video shows the moment a russian plane crashed into a moscow expressway. look at this and listen. you see the wreckage there? it hits one car. this driver, crashing into more wreckage. there's a landing gear scattered all over the road. the crash killed five people on board that plane. investigators say faulty brakes may be to blame. time for "your business"
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america is waiting. senate majority leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell are trying to iron out a deal with a loose deadline now a little more than 90 minutes away. nbcs kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill watching the developments. she's going to join us in a few minutes. something else a lot of people are keeping an eye on, the weather. look at that. the storm dumped up to a foot of snow on parts of southern new england. dylan dreier i sures me i'll get home to atlanta tomorrow. >> you didn't ask that question. >> you said the weather is out of the northeast. when i asked all those questions, it was all personal. >> now that i know, there's more pressure on me. getting from the northeast to atlanta, you are good to go. the trouble spot heading into the new year's eve time frame looks like kansas and parts of
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missouri. you can't see it on the map because the storm is moving through texas bringing light rain through san antonio. the snow is pushing through areas in eastern kansas and western missouri. it's by 8:00 tomorrow morning. as we go into midnight tomorrow night, the all important time frame, kansas city seeing the snow showers. the lake-effect show continues in the nooegs. totals three to six inches in the country and through the planes. that's it. we are looking for a quiet new year's eve and new year's day, too. in the meantime, the storm system that brought areas of southern new england a foot of snow in spots is pulling away. now it's lake-effect snow through cleveland, ohio. typical areas for the lake-effect snow. 30s in the northeast. 20s in minneapolis. the country is quiet today. for new year's eve, we are looking for trouble spots in the
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plain states. in denver, lighter snow showers. the northeast is quiet but cold. temperatures below average. as we start off the new year, 2013, no snowstorms to talk about. light rain in atlanta. we are looking for chilly temperatures in the northeast. t.j., good luck with traveling. >> thank you so much. in just a moment, the three way that is lawmakers could still derail the nation's economic recovery. you are watching weekends with alex witt. [ male announcer ] this december, remember --
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know, that was the worst day of my presidency. it's not something that i want to see repeated. >> it hit close to home? >> absolutely. >> the president said he was skeptical for the armed police at every school. >> the newspaper that published the names and addresses of gun owners. they will do it once they collect information in a third county. hillary clinton is the favorite among democrats and independents in a poll. they would be very or somewhat likely to support her for the democratic nomination in 2016. george h.w. bush is out of -- dylan smith was buried
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yesterday. he drown last sunday while surfing in puerto rico. those are some of your headlines. right now, we are under 90 minutes away from a loose deadline. president obama placed blame on speaker boehner for putting the country on the edge of this cliff. >> what we have is a situation where these automatic spending cuts go into place. if we have raised revenue by the wealthy paying more, that would be sufficient to turn off what's called the sequester, the automatic spending cuts. that would have a better outlook for the economy long term. so far, congress has not been able to get it done not because they don't want to cooperate, but because it's been hard for speaker boehner and republican leader mcconnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest americans should go
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up a bit as part of an overall deficit package. >> i'm told we have new information coming to us from capitol hill, kelly o'donnell. you have been working the phones, e-mails and everything else. is there an update? >> there is. it doesn't look like a promising one. there's been a major setback in negotiations. majority leader harry reid has been telling fellow democrats they are in a worst place now than 24 hours ago. proposals exchanged back and forth. both parties made movement on the key issues dealing with taxes and escape taxes. now democrats say, we have not yet heard from republicans, that the republican offer that really is now being termed a poison pill from democrats, was to introduce to idea of entitlement. the cost of living adjustment for social security as a part of this deal. now, democrats say they were never willing to look at that
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issue for a smaller package. they were willing to consider it in a bigger package which was the original goal for both parties that fell apart. i's chained cpi, a way of calculating how much cost of living seniors get for social security. they still get increases, but not necessarily at the same level. the economic principal is if prices go up, people make the adjustment themselves. they still get more but it's a way to make a big difference in the cost to the deficit. that is something that democrats have been incredibly opposed to. the president had indicated he might be open to doing that but again in a bigger deal. the headline right now is when you and i spoke earlier, we thought there were signs of movement and positive. right now, there's a major setback, things are not looking good. we are working the phones to hear from the republicans to get their take. this is an ominous sign when we
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thought the clock was ticking down. >> the part there, it's hard to imagine being in a worse place than before. we are watching the clock tick. if we are in a worse place, where does this leave us? does this mean, listening to you right now, kelly, i know you are just reporting as you see it, but it sounds ominous and sounds like we might have to fall back to the president's plan, send a simple package over. what was supposed to happen in the senate? are we close to shutting down negotiations? >> reporter: they have not walked away from the table. they have rejected the most recent offer from republicans. in this environment, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. ha is the nature of negotiations. that happens with lots of things that are not major headline stories. it's part of what goes on. we are talking incremental steps here. this is certainly a sign the democrats want to let us know
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about, let's be clear about that. they are letting us know about this setback in negotiations. we had not been getting many details when things were looking more positive. what happens next? a part of theish hugh is once an agreement is made, be optimistic and say they agree. all the air comes out. the things on the list become much harder to get. you don't have a pressure point of trying to get a deal. both sides try to put as much as they can talk about in a deal. by republicans bringing in chained cpi, the social security element, which is according to democrats, we have not heard that from republicans. that introduces something new into the conversation that we have not been hearing since friday. why did they do that? we have to get insight from them. it would have an impact on the deficit. the president and democrats said they would like to have more deficit reduction but they don't
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want middle income seniors paying for that. it's a tough, tough point. the president said he would be open to entitlement changes in a bigger, broader deal. that's not what this was intended to be in the last 48 hours or so. i don't have a crystal ball. the moment we are in right now, it's not looking good. >> kelly o'donnell, live on capitol hill. we will check back in with you. thank you so much. again, the update, the highlight there from kelly o'donnell. there's been a major setback at this point in negotiations. according to democratic sources telling some democrats they are in a worse place in the negotiations now than they have been in some time. we're keeping a close eye on capitol hill. all the fiscal cliff business, maybe we put it aside at some point. we are not going to talk about that. by all accounts, 2013 should be a year of economic recovery. it should be. in a new article in the washington post, the next guest
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out lines how washington could find a way to mess the whole thing up. let's bring in neil irwin. i have to start by getting your reaction to the news maybe they are in a worse place for a major setback. doesn't sound good. >> it affects what way washington might mess up the recovery. there's a whole menu of options. if the negotiations break down like it's looking like they are, it pushes toward one option. >> this is what you write. the first is obvious, going off the cliff. a timely warning to say the least here. so, what happens to the economy if we go off the cliff? again, some say if we go off the cliff for a little while versus for the whole year or something. >> right. going off for a couple days probably shouldn't make a difference. if it's several weeks, we are talking markets having a
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negative reaction. businesses not wanting to hire capital expenditures, buying equipment. that could have a negative effect on the economy. if we go off the cliff and stay off the cliff, we are looking at a recession, a sharp one. cbos estimates were right. a hit to gdp growth. if we go off the cliff and stay there, it could be a nasty year. up next is the possibility of being too much austerity. if you want to cut, cut, cut, but don't want to cut too much too fast. >> right. not all deals are created equal. we want to see a fiscal cliff deal. if it cuts the heck out of all kind of programs, then you can have a deal that is actually a real drag on the recovery as well. maybe not a recession, but a slower year than we otherwise would and slow growth. again, there's two percentage points in the payroll tax
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scheduled to increase on january 1. if you look at how negotiations are going, it looks like it's going to happen. the typical family's taxes by $1,000 over the course of a year. >> the final one, we are talking debt ceiling. you think the fiscal cliff thing is bad for the economy. you wait and see if they can't get the debt ceiling worked out. >> right. it's one thing to go over the fiscal cliff. that would be bad. we don't want to it happen. a recession may happen. it would be unfortunate. it's different than the u.s. defaulting on the debt. you know, we saw that back in august, 2011, we saw the downgrade of the credit rating. just by having the threat of not approving the debt ceiling increase and the possibility of default. it comes around again at the end of february, beginning of march. it's a time when there's a deal. if the deal does not include the
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debt ceiling, more damaging effects on the confidence. >> here we go again. neil irwin, it's good. economic editor. three ways they can mess this thing up next year. thank you so much. we'll talk to you again soon. we are 20 minutes to the top of the hour now. there have been major setbacks in the deal talks. we are just getting this news, a major setback in negotiations over a fiscal cliff deal. senator reid, according to democratic sources they are in a worse place than they have been in quite some time. the big three weighs in next. new years clutter is no match for someone with big ideas. with a new project in mind, some how-to knowledge to give us an edge, and more savings down every aisle. it only takes a few twists and turns for those bright ideas to make the new year even brighter. more saving. more doing.
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a deal that would keep taxes, tax rates from going up for 98% of the people in this country. harry reid saying they are in a worse place in negotiations than they have been in quite some time. as we watch the clock tick, we were hoping for encouraging word, this is what we are getting. let me bring in the big three on the topics. this week's must reads, the panel. joining me, msnbc contributor and bush-cheney adviser. aaron mcpike. i want to start with you jimmy. you have been talking to people on the hill as well. what is the word you are getting? >> kelly is right. it's a problem. i don't know why we are acting like this is new news. it is important that kelly is reporting this. i don't think they are going to get a deal. the reason i don't is look at the republican caucus. they are never going to give
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harry reid or that guy called president barack obama a win. they are not going to do it. listen, if john boehner couldn't get a $1 million threshold on the floor and vote on it, why does anybody, anybody in their right mind think is senate is going to do something and send it to the house and watch them pass it. >> he's calling me crazy for being naive and silly enough to think maybe a deal would get done. it sounded like a kick in the gut. it wasn't what i wanted to hear, any of us wanted to hear. he's not surprised by it. i guess we shouldn't be surprised, but it's a disappointment. >> it's true. if they were going to get a deal in the next day or two, the time we have left, it would be a small deal. at this point, they can kick it to the next congress and the chances of having a bigger, better deal then are much greater. this isn't that much of a surprise. >> not much of a surprise. robert, can you back me up?
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i look like the political novice here. i was being hopeful something was going to get done. we knew what we were up against. the president had his back up plan. are you agreeing with the other two guests that not much of a surprise, we knew it was coming and, you know, let's move on? >> actually, t.j., i'm surprised and not surprised. i'm surprised because the news is getting out. there's going to be ups and downs. i'm cautiously optimistic the republicans and democrats are going to get something done. maybe a small ball type deal and kick it down the curb. let me disagree with jimmy. it's not a win for the president and the democrats. we are trying to win for the american people here. let's remember the president won back in november but the american people decided to send republicans back into power of the house of representatives here. we have to have this type of balance and compromise here. i think the american people ultimately will win here.
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>> t.j., can i add one last point? think about where we are for a little bit of perspective right now. just this morning on "meet the press," president obama essentially was blaming republicans for the inability to move anything and speaker boehner, a couple hours later took to twitter to blame the president for not urging the senate to pass a bill that the house passed, but that bill wouldn't pass the democratic led senate anyway. when the two lead negotiators in the whole process, speaker boehner and president obama with two days to go are still in blame game mode, we are very unlikely to get something done in the last 48 hours. >> jimmy, let me bring you in on the next topic. robert hinted at it. this should be a win. it should be about the american people getting a win here. winners andlosers. it is politics. what about the president here? is he going to have a tough sengd term if he has to take this same battle into next year
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and be dealing with this. he talked this morning he wanted to take on immigration control and gun control and energy. those things can't get done if he has to go into this major battle again. >> i like looking back at when bill clinton got the big budget deal in '93. look what happened. they had nothing else to go after. they had to impeach the poor guy. do i think that president obama's congressional agenda or his national agenda is in jeopardy? yeah and no. i don't know that the republicans are going to give him any wins at all. everyone is talking about 2016 and the mid terms and all of the other republicans being primaried if they give an inch on negotiations. we are already in campaign 2016 mode. i think he should try. i hope he wins on imigation.
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if there is anything he can get done it is probably immigration because all sides agree you have to do that. >> take this last 30 seconds to respond to that same question about the president and legacy and what he is going to be able to do at the beginning of next year. >> second terms have been hard for presidents. you go to harry truman and ronald reagan. very difficult. i think this president will make a win on immigration and move on to foreign policy most likely in the middle east. >> thank you for keeping time for me. you came under 30 seconds. you're watching "weekends with alex wit." [ male announcer ] you like who you are...
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we're back with the big three for this week's must reads. my panel today let me start with who goes first? let me start with you, robert. give me your must reads. >> "the washington post" in
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reference to speaker boehner's leadership style and how that pretty much gets him in trouble because no one on capitol hill fears him and most that are successful are usually the feared ones. >> there is a great story in ""boston globe" about the budget cuts going on in the u.k. it is a good reminder that we have to pay close attention to what is going on in the eurozone because they are certainly paying attention to what we are doing. >> jimmy? >> the "new york times" about alex okrent who passed away unexpectedly back in july. i have wondered about barack obama being reelected and what his foot print will be. and i try to see it through other people's eyes through african americans eyes and
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latinos' eyes. the big hand of barack obama is huge and kids and women and men is bigger than we see. >> thank you all for being here. good talking to you this morning. thank you so much -- this afternoon i should say now. to our viewers a reminder the breaking news we had is that negotiations are not looking good in the senate. democratic sources saying that negotiations aren't going well and harry reid is telling some democrats they are in a worse spot now than they have been for quite some time. thank you so much. up next, "meet the press." with david gregory.
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